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You may not have cared much about Valentine’s Day in the past. All those throwaway cards, overpriced roses, and less-than-spectacular chocolate may have struck you as flagrant consumerism more than anyone else. Now that you’re divorced, your feelings may be different, because Valentine’s Day is now a reminder that you’re alone, with no one to…

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Between 2006 and 2017, there were nearly 13 million consumer bankruptcies filed. Of these, 68% were Chapter 7 filings, while 32% opted for Chapter 13. Chapter 13 has certain advantages: if you have a lot of property that you don’t want to lose in a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, then it lets you repay your…

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According to the New York Department of Health, between 2012 and 2014, an average of 1,098 people were killed in accidents on state roads per year. There were also approximately 12,093 hospitalizations and 136,913 emergency department visits per year. New York State law requires all cars registered in the state to carry the following minimum…

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When you file for Chapter 7 in New York, your trustee is tasked with administering all of the property in your bankruptcy estate. Anything of value that is not covered by an exemption is typically seized and sold so the proceeds can be paid out to your creditors. Sometimes, however, the trustee abandons a piece…

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No engaged couple likes to think that their upcoming marriage may not last. You may worry about offending your fiance(e) by suggesting a prenuptial agreement, but if you own a business, it may be worth it to risk hard feelings in order to protect the company’s future. The hard reality is that a contentious divorce…

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When you’re injured in a car accident, a key issue in recovering damages is identifying who is at fault. Depending on where the collision occurred, a court may determine fault according to the rules of contributory or comparative negligence. What is contributory negligence? The doctrine of contributory negligence prohibits you from recovering damages if you…

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When you’re a stay-at-home parent or only work part-time, filing for divorce can be more stressful than normal. When you have little to no income, how can you afford a divorce attorney who will ensure that you get your fair share of the marital estate and, if necessary, spousal maintenance until you’re on stronger ground…

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Last September, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the latest quarterly consumer credit trends report. This document, whose primary purpose is to track how the frequency and types of bankruptcy filings have varied since 2001, also examines issues like: BAPCA effect on the frequency of Chapter 7 filings Discharge rates for Chapter 7 bankruptcies vs.…

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New Yorkers have enjoyed a comparatively mild winter so far, but we are now heading into a season well-known for sudden and fierce ice storms. In January 1998, a now-famous storm devastated northern New York and New England from January 5-9, leaving roads impassable and causing an estimated 40 deaths. Another one gripped the Northeastern…

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When you file for divorce in New York, all property acquired while you were married is subject to an equitable division and distribution. This includes real estate, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and, to the surprise of some couples, pension benefits earned while you and your spouse were still together. If you are divorcing on amicable…

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Veterans of the U. S. military sometimes struggle financially after they return from active duty.    Physical and/or emotional injuries (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 an estimated 41% of Gulf War-era veterans had a disability related to their service) or a personal crisis like divorce can make it impossible for them to…

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After you’ve been injured in a car accident, your healthcare providers will likely advise you to rest often and get plenty of sleep, but what can you do if it takes you hours to doze off or, even worse, you can’t sleep at all? Instead, you stare at the ceiling until daylight, awake but physically…

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QDRO is an acronym for “qualified domestic relations order.” If you file for divorce in New York and one spouse has a retirement plan through their workplace, a QDRO provides the other spouse with the right to receive a specified percentage of the payable benefits. A QDRO can be applied to various types of retirement…

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Distracted driving has long been a concern for New York lawmakers. In 2001, it became the first state to ban handheld phones use while driving, and in 2009 a law was passed that prohibited texting and driving. Under New York’s current law, using your cellphone while driving is strictly prohibited. Anyone who uses their phone…

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A third quarter report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data found that in the third quarter of last year, overall household debt jumped 0.7% to $13.95 trillion. Nominally speaking, this total exceeds the previous peak of $12.68 trillion, which was reported in the third quarter of 2008. The report…

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Liability waivers have become such a routine part of using recreational facilities that we automatically assume that they’re valid. Even if we are injured after using gym equipment or taking a cycling class, we believe that we aren’t entitled to compensation and fail to determine whether that is really the case. This is what the…

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When the holiday season begins, many retailers and shipping companies hire seasonal help. Last month United Parcel Service (UPS) hired 100,000 temporary workers to handle an anticipated 32 million packages a day. The activity rate at this time of year goes up by an estimated 60%, so seasonal help is an essential part of making…

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Luxury retailer Barneys, which recently filed for bankruptcy, outraged loyal customers when it declared that after November 7, store gift cards could no longer be used. One of them, who was now out $100, griped to the New York Post, “This is theft.” It’s a situation that has made New York shoppers justifiably nervous. Gift…

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The holiday season in New York involves a lot of decorating, cooking, gift exchanges, and overall good cheer. It can also involve some injuries that include falling while setting up the Christmas tree, burns from electrical equipment or candles, stepping on broken ornaments, and slipping on icy walkways leading to your house or apartment building.…

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For many people, divorce leads to long-distance parenting. According to the National Center for State Courts, nearly one-quarter of the nearly 18 million children of divorce have a parent living in another city. In addition, an estimated 75% of single mothers will move at least once within four years after divorce or separation. As a…

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Most of us have a tendency to overspend during the holiday season, even when we’re months behind on our credit card payments and other bills. Although you want your loved ones to have a memorable Christmas morning, excessive spending during the months leading up to bankruptcy can cause serious problems for your case. If you…

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It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been divorced: the holidays can be a challenge, especially when you have kids who are enthusiastic about the latest iPhone or video game. As the last week of December draws closer, the financial and emotional pressure can be considerable. Fortunately, there are ways that you can give your kids…

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During the holiday season, candle use surges in New York households. There’s something especially festive about a flickering taper combined with the scent of vanilla, apple cider, gingerbread, and that perennial favorite, evergreen. No wonder stores like Bath and Body Works are filled to capacity throughout December! Unfortunately, candle use has also led to tragedy.…

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If you’ve owned a smartphone for long, then you know that there’s an app for practically everything, and post-divorce holiday shopping is not an exception. Buying gifts for friends and family can be fun, but there are a couple of downsides: you’re likely on a budget and when you’re buying for the kids, you want…

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Shopping malls are chaotic places all year round, but during the weeks leading up to Christmas, The Mall at Bay Plaza and other locations are packed with holiday shoppers, increasing the risk of injury. Black Friday is especially notorious for causing injury and even death when too many bargain hunters converge on the same location…

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One of the hardest—and most emotional—aspects of separation and divorce is child custody during the holidays. In many cases, it won’t be possible for your children to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah with both parents. How can you keep the holidays special when only one parent is with them when they unwrap their gifts on Christmas…

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If you walk through the streets of New York City, then you’ll inevitably run into someone in loose, comfortable clothing, headed for their favorite yoga studio with a rolled mat under their arm. Yoga has been acclaimed for its physical and mental benefits, but like most activities, there is always the risk of injury. In…

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When you take out a mortgage or car loan, you agree to repay the amount over time. If financial challenges become so steep that you end up having to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the lender will usually do one of two things: take back the asset or charge off the debt. How is repossession…

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Not all car crashes are between two or more vehicles. Many auto accidents involve a single vehicle and driver, which can raise questions of liability. The most common example is run-off-road crashes, which occur when a car leaves the roadway and goes into the ditch or collides with inanimate objects, such as trees, buildings, telephone…

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Family heirlooms are generally antiques or jewelry that have been passed down from one generation to the next. We cherish them because they make us feel connected to where we come from. That blue porcelain water jug in your bedroom? It once belonged to your great-grandmother, who used to wash her face with it before…

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In 2012, former astronaut Neil Armstrong died in an alleged case of medical malpractice. The 82-year-old had undergone cardiac bypass surgery in August and, according to leaked documents, experienced a tear when a nurse removed the wires from his temporary pacemaker, causing him to suffer internal bleeding. The staff at Mercy Health — Fairfield Hospital…

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For families, Thanksgiving is one of the best times of the year. Everyone gets together around a dinner table heaped with roast turkey and all the trimmings, happy to put their smartphones away and enjoy a meal that has been a cherished tradition for generations. For some of us, this is one of the few…

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When you take out a life insurance policy and make regular payments, the insurer will grant your beneficiaries a death benefit when you pass. Although this is the goal, if financial difficulties arise and you file for bankruptcy, you could risk losing some or all of the benefits to your creditors. There are two primary…

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In August, the New York Times reported that an 18-year-old man had appeared in the emergency room of a Long Island hospital, complaining of dizziness, vomiting, and shortness of breath. When one of his attending physicians asked if he had been vaping, the young man firmly denied it. The patient’s brother, a police officer, wasn’t…

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While many couples continue to affirm their commitment to one another by getting married, others opt to enter into a domestic partnership. New York State defines a domestic partner as anyone who meets one or more of the following criteria: Enters into a legally-recognized domestic partnership Is registered as a domestic partner with their employer…

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When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, one of the biggest advantages is that the automatic stay protects you from most creditor actions such as collection agency calls, wage garnishments, lawsuits, foreclosures, and repossessions. The automatic stay is an injunction issued by the bankruptcy court. Once creditors are notified, even a lawsuit…

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Imagine that you are riding in a limousine through upstate New York, en route to a loved one’s fall wedding. Suddenly your driver realizes that he’s about to miss the turn leading to the chalet where the ceremony is being held. He hits the brakes, but the asphalt is still wet from this morning’s rain…

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When you get married, it legally changes your financial situation. Now everything you earn or acquire becomes marital property, unless a third party gifted or bequeathed something exclusively to you. When you intermingle your finances after marriage, how does it affect your debt liability? If your spouse has student loans, credit card debt, and other…

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One of the biggest misconceptions about filing for bankruptcy is that you’re going to “lose everything.” A lot of people don’t learn the truth until they’re desperate enough to consult a bankruptcy attorney and learn that in New York, they can use state or federal exemptions to protect property up to a certain value. How…

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Informed consent is one of the fundamental rules of medical ethics. As a patient, you have the right to control what healthcare procedures you undergo, but most laypeople lack in-depth medical knowledge, so your rights are protected by informed consent, meaning that you cannot fully consent to a procedure or treatment until you know enough…

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In New York, when a child is born to married parents, the presumption is that the husband is the legal father. When the parents are unmarried, it gets complicated. The law does not assume that the mother’s current boyfriend is the child’s father, and steps need to be taken before the putative father receives parental…

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We all know how unpredictable and accident-prone kids can be. They join their friends in the playground in the morning and come home covered in scrapes and bruises. When it’s time to go back to school, they’re extra-excited about seeing friends that they haven’t seen over the summer and resuming favorite after-school activities. Enthusiasm can…

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Technically, yes. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Once a New York family court has issued a custody order, you and the other parent are bound by its terms unless you apply for a modification, which is generally granted only if you can demonstrate that circumstances have changed significantly since the order was…

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When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, your attorney will tell you that in exchange for having all dischargeable debt wiped out, you will have to surrender any nonexempt property to the trustee for sale and distribution to your creditors. How does this requirement affect your household goods and furniture? Will you…

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If someone else’s negligent conduct caused you to be injured, you may be able to sue for compensation. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a personal injury attorney could help you recover compensatory damages, which address past and projected economic losses, and punitive damages, which are intended to punish the negligent party and discourage…

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No one likes sitting in traffic for hours at a time, but New Yorkers don’t typically have a choice. According to a 2017 survey, the average round-trip commute for those who work in the city comes to nearly 58 minutes. That’s around nine minutes longer than the national average of 49 minutes. Several studies confirm…

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In February 2018, a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Portland was delayed when a six-year-old girl attempted to pet another passenger’s emotional support dog and was left with a mark on her forehead. She was treated by paramedics and was able to fly, but the dog and its owner were not permitted to remain…

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that in 2016, the top source of consumer complaints was inaccurate credit reporting. When you’re trying to rebuild after bankruptcy, a defective credit report can be a major obstacle. Your credit rating dictates whether you will be approved for a credit card, personal loan, or mortgage and, if so,…

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Our self-esteem is tied closely to our appearance, which is why scars and other disfigurements that result from a catastrophic accident can be so devastating. Although plastic surgery can correct physical scarring to a certain extent, it can take months of medical treatment and psychological counseling to help you deal with what happened. Accidents that…

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Last year, the New York Post ran an article revealing that Ashley Madison, the portal that connects cheating spouses, is as popular as ever despite a catastrophic data breach in 2015. The article stated that the company’s US revenue increased by 17% in 2016 and over half of its active users are female. Until 1967,…

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You file for bankruptcy to put your mountain of unsecured debt behind you, but it doesn’t always proceed smoothly. Although it’s not a routine happening, a dispute can arise regarding a debt that you included on the petition. Should this happen, you, your trustee, the creditor, or another party involved in the case can file…

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Your spouse was unfaithful to you for over two years, although you only learned about it a few months ago. You’re hurt, angry, and wondering whether her actions will have any impact on the outcome of the divorce. Will she lose her bid for custody of the kids? Receive less of the marital estate? Has…

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When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, your lenders may try to reclaim any assets that you posted as collateral for a loan. However, Section 722 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows you to keep this property by “redeeming” it, meaning that you pay the remaining debt balance or the current replacement…

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An estimated 70 million American adults have a criminal record. That’s almost one out of every three! The FBI regards anyone who has ever been arrested for a felony charge to have a record, even if they weren’t convicted. If you’re one of these people, then how does your record affect a personal injury case?…

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In 1991, a book came out called Divorce Hangover. It was about the emotional pain and turmoil that often accompanies divorce and suggested that like an alcohol hangover, it would eventually pass and leave you ready to cope with life again. The book acknowledged that divorce was a life-changing experience that aroused strong emotions like…

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Married couples in New York have the option of addressing their debt burden by filing a joint bankruptcy petition. While this is a convenient way of eliminating debt incurred over the course of the marriage, it’s not a legal obligation. In fact, there may be times when separate filing is more beneficial. How joint bankruptcy…

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Tattoos are so popular these days that entire magazines and websites are devoted to them. According to the History of Tattoos website, every year Americans spend $1.65 billion getting themselves inked. 70% of those who get a tattoo go on to get more than one and 20% get more than five. Although tattoos are trendy,…

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If you regularly ride your bike along New York City streets, then you know what moving cars are always a potential threat. They can stop without warning, make sudden U-turns at intersections, and swerve into your path without signaling first. Cars can even pose a danger when they’re parked, thanks to “dooring.” Dooring is an…

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Back-to-school season is stressful for parents as well as kids, but when you’re recently divorced, the challenges can be amplified. How will you split the cost of school supplies? Who will go shopping for them? Will both of you accompany the kids to the bus stop or drive them to school? The back-to-school transition is…

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In 2015, the New York Times estimated that there are over 17,000 nail salons in New York City. Manicures and pedicures are beauty routines that millions of Americans obtain every week or month, but they can present health risks to their patrons when good business practices are not followed. Among the most common injuries experienced…

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A lot of elements come into play in personal injury cases. Concepts like causation, negligence, and duty of care all determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and financial losses. With some personal injury claims, an additional concept applies—foreseeability. Foreseeability refers to the issue of whether a reasonable person would have foreseen…

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If you’re in the process of divorce, then there are multiple demands for your attention. You’re talking to your spouse about child custody and support, sorting through marital assets, and separating your finances. There’s a lot to manage, but don’t let insurance fall under your radar. One area many divorcing couples overlook is life insurance.…

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We are often contacted by people who say that they have consulted with multiple personal injury attorneys across New York and failed to find one who will take their case. They’re confused and wondering why each consultation ends with a polite, “No.” Let us start by saying that most attorneys genuinely want to help you,…

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Last month, Business Insider ran a story indicating that student loan debt was driving a high number of bankruptcies. Citing a recent LendEDU study, it found that 32% of all consumers who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have a significant amount of student loan debt- on average, 49% of their liability was related to the…

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Every year, hundreds (if not thousands) of personal injury claims are filed in courthouses all over New York State. Everywhere we turn, we see billboards, television commercials and online advertisements promoting law firms that promise to protect your rights and pursue your claim if you’re injured in a car accident or harmed by medical malpractice.…

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When you suspect your spouse of being unfaithful, it can be tempting to check their email, especially if you discover the password without their knowledge. You probably know that it’s an unethical thing to do, but are you aware that it might also violate federal law? One Chicago woman, Paula Epstein, put an auto-forward on…

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Today, practically everyone does their banking online. We pay our bills using a bank app or website, and when we need money, we head to the nearest ATM to enter a code and receive the cash. This practice may be routine, but it’s not always safe. A year ago this month, a 50-year-old man attacked…

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In December 2016, three people were killed and five injured in a multi-vehicle pile-up on the Cross Bronx Expressway. The accident, which closed all lanes for nearly six hours, occurred at around 5:45 a.m. near Jerome and Webster Avenues. A Ford pickup truck was caught between two tractor-trailers, crushing it and killing three men inside.…

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When someone files a lawsuit against you, you may be tempted to declare bankruptcy, especially if it involves a debt you can’t afford to repay. While bankruptcy can stop a lot of creditor lawsuits, such as collection actions by credit card companies and mortgage providers, some proceedings are not impacted by the automatic stay. Below…

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On May 6, passengers on a British Airways flight from London to Tampa Bay, Florida, encountered a terrifying ordeal. A severe episode of turbulence caused the flight to drop without warning, causing several people to hit the ceiling. Video taken immediately afterward showed suitcases and other personal items scattered across the cabin while passengers stared…

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If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, your debt situation has probably reached crisis level. Perhaps your creditors are calling you on a daily basis, and one or more of them is threatening to sue you. Shouldn’t you see a bankruptcy attorney immediately and receive the protection of the automatic stay? In most cases, the…

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New York winters can be long and difficult, which is why we love summer. We can get from Point A to B without fighting the wind, snow, and freezing rain. Once the sidewalks and park pathways clear, we also start seeing the bright blue bikes offered by Citi Bike and other bike-share programs available across…

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To most of us, social media accounts are recreational tools used to share life updates, photos, opinions, and other social commentaries. However, if you are a New York business owner declaring bankruptcy, then the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram photos you use to advertise your products and services can be considered assets. In May 2015, a…

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Divorce has an uncanny way of bringing our most private circumstances to light. Even when the split is an amicable one, details like personal finances, a child’s special needs, and other intimate information take center stage so that they can be addressed and future plans made. Therefore, it’s an alarming thought that your family, friends,…

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently eliminated a 2016 rule that required companies with at least 250 employees to electronically submit annual reports on all worker injuries or illnesses. Its removal is being contested in court by New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. Businesses will still have to complete and…

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One of the many reasons why people hesitate to file for bankruptcy is that they worry about their life being impacted. While it’s true that you may encounter difficulties with renting an apartment, getting a car loan at a decent interest rate, and other undertakings that require a decent credit score, there are laws that…

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When a couple divorces in New York and cannot agree on how to divide marital property, the court will make a decision using the state’s equitable distribution laws. But before any dividing can occur, it has to identify separate vs. marital property. Separate property consists of assets and debts that belong to one spouse only…

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Home-cooked meals are supposed to be good for you, but New York has strict laws for those who want to run a business out of their kitchen. Homemade food can only be sold at food stands, farmer’s markets, and similar outlets, such as flea markets or agricultural fairs: selling online is illegal. “Cottage food industry”…

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Section 550 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows a trustee to sue creditors to recover any payments made by a debtor within the 90-day period prior to their bankruptcy filing. These actions, which as known as preference lawsuits, apply to payments that were made: On a previously incurred (as opposed to current) debt While the…

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When a couple divorces, it’s rare that both spouses make the decision together. In most cases, there is one person who has already gone through an “emotional” divorce and wants to make the split legal. They say they want to divorce, often to the shock and confusion of their partner. This individual is what is…

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New York City pizza is legendary. One pizzeria in California actually pays $10,000 every year to import New York City water, claiming that it makes their dough taste better than local water. Delivering this divine pizza, however, can be one of the most dangerous jobs out there. Citing an estimate made by the Department of…

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Sometimes you can find yourself so deep in debt that you owe more on your household goods, car, and other real property than they are worth. If this happens and you don’t want to risk surrendering these assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a then Chapter 13 may allow you to “cram down” these debts,…

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If you draw up a prenuptial agreement in another country, will its terms be enforced in New York state? In 2008, the New York Court of Appeals answered this question in Van Kipnis v. Van Kipnis. Gregory and Claire Van Kipnis were married in Paris, France, in 1965. He was a U.S. citizen who had…

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Now that the weather is warmer, motorcycle owners are taking their machines out of storage, donning helmets, and hitting the road. Motorcycling is a great opportunity to get fresh air and enjoy the emerging greenery, but it can be riskier than driving a car. Motorcyclists are easy to miss visually because drivers are used to…

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If you’re thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you may be wondering if you can still keep a credit card. This concern is understandable. Credit cards appear to be essential if you want to rent a hotel room, a car and enjoy other benefits that are more difficult to acquire with cash or…

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Many New Yorkers have civilian occupations with the U.S. military. Sometimes their job takes them overseas, where they carry out work on military bases or build structures under contract with the Department of Defense. These occupations are like any other in that injuries can occur. But if you are a New York construction worker injured…

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Normally you look forward to Father’s Day, but if this is the first time you’ve celebrated it since your divorce, then you may be wondering how you’re going to manage. These feelings can be even more difficult if you are the noncustodial parent or you share custody but the kids live with their mom. Sometimes,…

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The manhole covers that dot the streets of New York City are supposed to keep pedestrians and road workers safe, but they also cause injury every year. Now that snow and ice are melting to make way for spring, people walking or working around them should take extra precautions. Below is an overview of common…

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You may have filed for Chapter 7 because you lost your job or had your hours cut back at work and couldn’t find suitable replacement employment. Now you’re thinking about taking your financial future into your own hands by starting a new business. While there is technically nothing stopping you from becoming an entrepreneur after…

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At one time, New York was a common law property state, meaning that all assets titled in the name of one spouse belonged to them after divorce. This created so many financial difficulties, especially for women who gave up careers to raise a family, that in 1980 New York passed the Equitable Distribution Law, which…

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At the first sign of spring, we start making some lifestyle changes. The heavy winter clothing goes back in the closet for another year. If a destination is within walking distance, then the car stays home. Public parks become busier. Like winter, however, spring has dangerous conditions. There are accidents that appear to occur or…

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The Memorial Day weekend is on the horizon. Whether you plan to stay in the city and catch the Soul Beach Music Festival or head up to your cottage in the Catskills, it’s essential that you stay safe while having fun. According to ValuePenguin, Memorial Day weekend is the major holiday weekend with the highest…

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Few things are more traumatic than losing your hearing. Along with vision, it is one of the senses that allows you to experience the world and live life to the fullest. When you lose this precious ability due to the reckless or negligent conduct of someone else, you have the right to file a personal…

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When you divorce in New York today, Domestic Relation Law Section 236 requires the marital estate to be divided equitably. In this sense, “equitable” means fair as opposed to equal, although New York family court judges strive to divide assets in a manner that gives each spouse what they need to pursue an independent life…

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When you are injured on the job or develop an occupational illness in New York, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that address your medical bills and pay you a weekly amount based on the degree of your disability and how much you were earning before you were injured. Unfortunately, many injured workers refrain…

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Research suggests that next to high medical bills, job loss is the most common reason why Americans file for bankruptcy. If they are unable to find work before their emergency funds and COBRA insurance coverage runs out, then they face relentless payment demands from their mortgage issuer, auto loan provider, credit card issuer, and other…

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There are different types of marital agreements in New York state, including divorce settlement agreements, marital separation agreements, and stipulations of settlement. What they all have in common is that their contents must valid by statute if the parties want to enforce them. This condition was confirmed by the New York Court of Appeals in…

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